Georgia Football: Report Card Grades for Every New Starter

Brian Jones@Brian_L_JonesContributor ISeptember 2, 2014

Georgia Football: Report Card Grades for Every New Starter

0 of 5

    Dave Tulis/Associated Press

    The Georgia Bulldogs came away with a big win last Saturday, running past the Clemson Tigers in the season opener. The first half was an even contest, but the Bulldogs were able to dominate the second half with the help of the running game, led by Todd Gurley.

    With that being said, credit has to go to the new starters. While Gurley may have been the standout player, guys like Aaron Davis, Mike Thornton and Greg Pyke played key roles in the win.

    Here are report card grades for every new starter. 

OG Brandon Kublanow

1 of 5

    Dave Martin/Associated Press

    Week 1 Stats: N/A

    Brandon Kublanow played in nine games last year, but he made his first start on Saturday and did not disappoint. He was quick on the line of scrimmage, and he always sustained his block, which is one of the reasons why Gurley was able to have a big game.

    There were a couple of times where he was pushed around by the Clemson defensive line, but he was able to learn from it and be a stronger player in the second half, which is when the Bulldogs did most of their damage.

    Grade: B+ 

OG Greg Pyke

2 of 5

    Mark Humphrey/Associated Press

    Week 1 Stats: N/A

    What was said about Kublanow could be said about Greg Pyke. The work Pyke did in spring practice and fall camp continued on Saturday.

    The offensive guard had no issues maintaining his blocks and was a key lead blocker in a few big runs. Having center David Andrews working next to him was beneficial, but had it not been for the consistent play of Pyke, the Bulldogs' rushing attack would not have been as impressive.

    Grade: A 

FB Taylor Maxey

3 of 5

    Credit: 247Sports

    Week 1 Stats: N/A

    What was impressive was the play of Taylor Maxey.

    He did not have any carries in the game, but he had some big blocks to help guys such as Gurley and Nick Chubb make plays.

    Maxey got the nod at starting fullback during fall camp after the team lost Merritt Hall for the year due to having too many concussions. He was huge for the Bulldogs on Saturday, though, and he will be featured in the offense more as the season progresses.

    Grade: A 

NT Mike Thornton

4 of 5

    USA TODAY Sports

    Week 1 Stats: N/A

    Mike Thornton did not have any tackles and did not have any impact plays, but he fulfilled his primary responsibilities of eating up blocks and maintaining the line of scrimmage. Thornton did that effectively, which is why Amarlo Herrera was able to have 12 tackles and two sacks.

    Thornton used his smaller size to get underneath the Clemson offensive line and used his strength to win individual battles. He is not going to have many tackles or sacks this season, but he was a big reason the defense was able to shut down the Tigers in the second half.

    Grade: B- 

S Aaron Davis

5 of 5

    David Goldman/Associated Press

    Week 1 Stats: 4 tackles, 1 interception, 1 pass breakup

    Aaron Davis struggled a little bit to start the game, as he was not able to find the ball in terms of covering receivers. However, he settled in midway through the second half, which started with him intercepting a Cole Stoudt pass.

    The freshman safety was able to read and react really well, and he always knew where to go and what to do. The coaches were high on Davis during the offseason, and fans got a chance to see why this past weekend.

    Grade: B